Leonardo DiCaprio. I remember how incensed I was as a then eleven-year-old, in 1996, when Romeo + Juliet came out and Romeo took drugs. As a Shakespeare fan, I was really angry. Despite my understandable disappointment with Baz Luhrman’s direction for one of my favourite characters, I soon fell under Leo’s spell (as most girls my age did all over the world!).
I was completely infatuated with this man when I was twelve and Titanic came out, which I saw THREE TIMES at the cinema. My room was covered in photos and posters of him. I’m really embarrassed about this now.
(Now I think he’s kind of immature, as he’s never settled down and has had one supermodel after another (yawn). I still think he should have married Kate Winslet, as you can beat marrying a friend.)
In 1998’s The Man in the Iron Mask, I was at the peak of my Leo crush, and him dressed in 17th-century garb was almost too much for me. Cravats, armour, periwigs (though for some crazy reason, Leo was never in a periwig, but they gave him hair extensions?) Now, aged 27, I prefer Jeremy Irons and Gabriel Byrne when I watch the film. When I was 13, however, Leonardo couldn’t have been more appealing than he was in this film. He was both the baddie, King Louis XIV, and the goodie, his twin Philippe, the man in the iron mask. I wanted to be Judith Godreche as Christine!! Granted, this adaptation is not as true to the story as, say, the 70s version with that other heartthrob, Richard Chamberlain, but this one is stylishly filmed, with beautiful colours, an excellent soundtrack, and Louis accurately portrayed as a sexually voracious king. I just loved it. Still do!